While veteran Henrik Lundqvist was hoping to return to the NHL for the playoffs, the 39-year-old veteran announced via Twitter that those hopes will not be possible. The goaltender, who signed with the Washington Capitals in the offseason only to have to sit out the year after learning that he required open-heart surgery to fix issues with his heart, has been back on the ice for almost a month in hopes of joining Washington. However, he announced that inflammation around his heart requires more time for rest and recovery.
“Last week’s checkup showed some inflammation around the heart that now requires a few months more of rest and steady recovery,” wrote Lundqvist. “While it’s not what I hoped for, I know this is all part of the process of getting back to 100%.”
While a return to the NHL this season seemed highly unlikely, it’s disappointing for Lundqvist, the Capitals and fans who would have loved to see the veteran back on the ice.
- The New Jersey Devils could be close to getting back their No. 1 center as head coach Lindy Ruff said that Nico Hischier is “very close to playing, he’s closing in on that date,” according to NHL.com’s Amanda Stein. The 22-year-old has struggled staying in the lineup due to injuries. He was forced to sit out for the first month of the season with a leg injury and after appearing in five games, he suffered a facial fracture that required surgery. He practiced with the team Sunday, working with the penalty killing unit and is expected to rejoin the team’s No. 1 power play once he returns.
- The New York Islanders have placed forward Ross Johnston on injured reserve due to an undisclosed injury, according to The Athletic’s Arthur Staple. That will allow the team to recall Oliver Wahlstrom from the taxi squad. The 27-year-old Johnston hasn’t seen too much time with the Islanders this season, appearing in just nine games. He has no points, but has 35 penalty minutes. Wahlstrom will likely have to battle with Leo Komarov for playing time.
- Chris Ryan of NJ.com reports that the third-round pick sent to the Washington Capitals for Jonas Siegenthaler is technically still conditional. The Devils sent the Arizona Coyotes’ third-round pick to Washington, which was acquired in the Taylor Hall trade. However, there was a condition to the deal in which New Jersey would actually get Arizona’s second-round pick if Hall re-signs with the Coyotes. Of course, that condition is extremely unlikely considering that Hall is now in Buffalo. Unless the Sabres trade him to Arizona and Hall signs an extension with them before the draft, that condition wouldn’t happen. However, in the unlikely circumstances that did happen, the Devils would then opt to send their own third-rounder to Washington for Siegenthaler.